Exercise Your Right to ……Whatever

As you may or may not know, I’ve started an exercise program. It was one of the things that I committed to on my 45th birthday. I really wanted to start taking better care of myself now so I don’t have a lot of ailments to blurt to total strangers when I’m older.

We have a really nice workout facility in our city that we joined a couple of years ago. My husband has been working out pretty regularly since we joined, but I really hadn’t until recently.

I’ve really adopted a “tude” recently. I am fed up with being a slave to my family’s schedule – that was my biggest excuse for not working out. Now, I’ve adopted a “screw’em” attitude! If we have to eat dinner at 7:00-7:30pm in order for me to get a half hour of exercise into my day, then so be it! If that means that my oldest who is now driving “gets” to take her brother and sister to piano lessons, then too bad for her! I don’t care if that means she is inconvenienced a bit.

Maybe this sounds harsh, but I feel like I have the right to be a little selfish so I can do something good for myself, right? I actually felt good enough to go out and buy myself my first pair of “skinny” jeans. You may be thinking, “Big whoop!” (Do people say that any more? It was big in the 80s). But it was a “big whoop” for me. I don’t think I’ve actually lost any weight, but it seems things are migrating back to where they originated. I consider that an accomplishment.

I try to get some kind of work out completed about 5 days a week – that seems to be all I can realistically accomplish (which is fine). I have been working out at our gym for these 5 days – I run 3x a week and swim 2x a week. So, that means exercising with others which also means some interesting people-watching opportunities are available.

This workout place has the usual array of exercise bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, weight machines, free weights and an indoor track. Below I’ve listed some interesting things I’ve seen over the last couple of months. I wish I could take pictures, but that would be wildly creepy.

60-70 year old men in Speedos. Really? Some nice regular swim trunks won’t do? Are you going for a speed record?

One interesting man (mid-40s) with black sheer hose on under some really tight black small shorts – see pic. I know this is a woman in the picture, but imagine these on a man with sheer black hose underneath the shorts. Then he had a regular t-shirt on (tucked into the shorts). I just couldn’t imagine a scenario where you would look in the mirror and say to yourself, “Yep, Perfect!”. Were the hose medically necessary? I do know that some people have to wear special knee-high type socks for circulation purposes. So if there were a full version of circulation hosiery available, then wouldn’t you wear sweats over those? I’m just sayin’.

Women, probably 70+, wearing their Sunday Best to walk around the track (I mean dangley earrings – the works). I don’t even have a Sunday Best outfit now, so I can’t imagine wearing this as my exercise garb (at any age).

Women (I’ve never seen a man doing this) talking on their cell phones while sauntering (barely walking) around the track. I don’t think that I’ve seen these women break a sweat. I thought exercise was for getting away from your daily grind for 30-45 minutes.

Young sweethearts holding hands while walking around the track – how nice! Since I’m getting older, anyone 22 or younger just look like babies to me, but I would guess an age range of 17-22 yrs old for the lovebirds. As I was thinking, “How sweet!”, I noticed that he had those huge ear gauges in his ear lobes, his running shorts were sagging (if he hadn’t had undies on, I would have seen his butt crack) and a lovely saying tattooed on the back of both calves (like a bumper sticker). Instead of saying something like ” I brake for skateboarders”, it said, “STAY F*CKED” in capital block letters. It was hard NOT to see it. How nice, right? What does that even mean? It’s so clever that all of the various people on the track that were fortunate enough to see it were left scratching their heads. Of course, I started thinking that by the time he snapped out of his rebellious stage and retired at age 70 from his 9-5 daily grind, that he would be hit on the golf course. There with his golf shirt, khaki shorts and awesome saying on his legs (if it’s even legible at that point in his life). Also, his ear lobes would surely be large enough now that he could use them as beer caddies. How convenient!

An impressive 70ish woman using the 4 ft railing as a ballet barre – she put her leg right up on that railing and put her nose to her knee for a good stretch! Holy cow! She did all kinds of amazing stretches using the railing so I was expecting to get my doors blown off running around the track with her (which would have been pretty deflating). She takes off and boom! No running, just a nice leisurely saunter. I have to say that I was a little disappointed after watching the huge warm-up.

These are the highlights of just some of my workout sessions. My dress code? Baggy shirt, shorts – that’s it. I’m not comfortable wearing skin-tight workout gear to run in. I don’t think people are quite ready for that.

These interesting sights do entice me to go back and see what’s on the people-watching menu for that day!

What’s Everyone Been Up To?

It has been well over a month since I posted something.  Why?  I’ve been thinking about that and it’s come down to a few things:

(1) Work has gotten busier (this is busy season in my industry) and the thought of sitting at the computer at night after sitting at the computer all day gave me the willies.

(2) There has been so much going on in the news and in my small world that it was too much and I just couldn’t keep up – my brain got clogged with so many thoughts and blog ideas that it literally crashed.  Just like a computer – the blue screen of death.  I need to start carrying a Journal so I can keep up with my thoughts.

(3) I’ve taken up a new hobby that has completely worn me out to the point that I am falling asleep on the couch at around 9:00pm (and sometimes earlier – getting old sucks).  What is this hobby?  Exercising!

Let’s address these obstacles one at a time:

Item #1 – This won’t go away until January 1, 2011 arrives, so I will just have to deal.

Item #2 – Below are just a few stories and items that have caught my attention over the last couple of weeks:

Toys – Since I still have an elementary kid in my house, we watch a lot of Nickelodeon and, thus, are subjected to a series of ridiculous toy ads (and they are really ramping up due to the upcoming holiday season).  These two toys really caught me off guard.  They seem REALLY silly to me and had me wondering “What the Heck?”  What do you think?  Am I just getting old?

Matchbox “Stinky the Garbage Truck”

Barbie Video Girl

News Items

Did you hear about the woman driving around Los Angeles with a mummified body in the passenger seat?  Click Here for the Los Angeles Time Story.

The political ads are driving me crazy.  I was in Massachusetts visiting my sister and in one of their political ads the opposing candidate was referred to as “kooky” – it cracked me up!  Also, what about the Christine O’Donnell thing (kooky?)?

Then, there is the lethal injection drug controversy in Arizona – click Here.  Apparently there is a shortage of FDA-approved lethal injection drugs, so Arizona had to purchase a supply from an overseas company (huh? I didn’t realize that we were executing so many people in the US that we have generated a shortage).  The concern is over the safety and quality of the lethal injection drug purchased overseas (again, huh?).  Well, I suppose that if you are going to put someone to death, you want to do it right the first time.

Item #3 – Exercise.  If you have been reading my blog, you will know that I have started running.  I had a rocky start, but I’m back at it.  Since it’s starting to get colder (and windy) out, I have been running inside – this has been great!  The track is cushy and there are no weather elements to deal with.  This has allowed me to get up to a 30 minute stretch, running 3 minutes and walking 2 minutes.  That is progress for me!  Hopefully, next week I will be doing the 4 min/1 min combo.  I have also been swimming two mornings a week – I’m helping a friend of mine train for a sprint triathlon.  We are up to 1000 meters per swim.  This new exercise routine  is definitely contributing to my narcolepsy at night – the swimming days seem to be the worst (it’s hell getting old!).

Well, that’s what I’ve been up to!  I have missed blogging (it can be very cathartic) and will try to do better.

The Not-So-Secret Life of the Suburban Housewife

Hey, people!  Yep, it’s me.  It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to post anything on my blog!  School started and “Boom!”, my life is no longer my own.  I’m a slave to no man, but children are another story!!  Whoever said the line that you get to do what you want when you grow up was a LIAR!  My kids somehow think that’s true (as I guess most kids do).  I’m tempted to share the secret of the Big Lie with them, but then I think, “Let them find out on their own!



School time is the time my double life emerges:  Insurance Consultant by Day and Taxi Driver by Afternoon/Night. (You can also throw Chef in there somewhere!).  School has started and, thus, Fall Sports and After School Activities. 

I get home from work in time to get my youngest off of the bus, change my clothes, wait for the girls to get home and then I put the Taxi-in-Service sign on the family truckster.  Now, we’re ready to take off – Soccer practice, piano lessons, elementary to retrieve forgotten homework, library, etc.  I literally drive around for 2 hours dropping off and picking up various little people and NEVER leave my city!  It’s no wonder my ass is getting wider – I’m in a recliner all day.  So, in order to prevent me from showing up on the People of Walmart web site,  I’ve decided to take up a new hobby that requires me to actually move – I’m taking up jogging.

I know, I know – why?  Well, a couple of things:  (1) my schedule does not allow me to visit a gym or take a class on a regular basis; (2) doing tapes at home is nice, but it’s not effective when the kids are yelling, “mommy, mommy!” while I’m hopping around, breathing irregularly, and sweating profusely; and (3) I needed to find something that I could pick up do anywhere without fuss or a lot of equipment.  Running seems to fit the bill – we’ll see.  I mean I do have 45-year-old knees.  Maybe they won’t like running :).

Still having my birthday money (because I don’t have time to shop for myself), I did a lot of research and bought myself some really nice running shoes and no-blister socks!!  I also found an 8-week training program – by the end of the 8 weeks, I should be able to run for 30 minutes straight.  This particular web site said not to worry about the miles, but the time.  Sounds good to me! 

Today was Day 2 and so far so good – no pulled muscles, twisted ankles or weird aches.  I consider that a good sign.  If I can maintain progress without serious injury, I should be able to run 30 minutes continuously by the end of the week of October 11th. 

Hopefully, this will be something that I enjoy doing and can keep doing.  If I’m going to continue my not-so-secret double life (I don’t see it ending any time soon), I would like to do it without my booty becoming two axe handles wide (an old saying by my dad).

Wish me luck!